New Orleans Saints

Saints juggle staff, but no new def. coordinator

Sean Payton juggled the New Orleans Saints coaching staff Monday by making a couple expected moves and hiring one new assistant.

Pete Carmichael Jr. moved from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, Aaron Kromer became the permanent offensive line coach, Joe Lombardi shifted from offensive assistant to quarterbacks coach and the Saints brought on Bret Ingalls to coach the running backs.

Payton made up his mind on Carmichael and Kromer before the regular season ended. Both Carmichael and Kromer assume positions held by Doug Marrone who left in December to take over the head coaching duties at Syracuse.

Carmichael has been the Saints' quarterback coach for the past three seasons and had been a hot coaching commodity for the past two offseasons. Twice the Miami Dolphins tried to hire Carmichael away as Cam Cameron and Tony Sparano both wanted him as the Fins' offensive coordinator.

Kromer came on as the team's running back coach about a year ago. Before joining the Saints, Kromer was Tampa Bay's offensive line coach for three seasons.

"Pete's promotion is well-deserved and I can't say enough about his ability, and Aaron did a great job with the running backs last year, particularly with the development of Pierre Thomas," Payton said in a statement. "Moving to the offensive line, where the majority of his NFL experience is, was a natural progression on our staff, and he'll also contribute to our game-planning with the running game.

"Joe worked closely with Pete last season and has a strong understanding of our philosophy on offense. I like the way these moves complete our offensive staff, and the promotions from within maintain our continuity on an offense that has been extremely successful."

Ingalls comes to New Orleans after coaching the offensive line at Northwestern for the past three seasons. Payton and wide receiver coach Curtis Johnson worked with Ingalls at San Diego State in 1989.

"My philosophy in hiring coaches has always been to make finding teachers of the game and enthusiasm the biggest priorities during the interview process," Payton said. "Bret is well respected for his knowledge and communication skills with players. He has a wealth of experience working with several position groups and as a coordinator and I am very excited with what he will bring to our coaching staff." It's another move in a rash of coaching changes. The Saints hired former Denver Broncos defensive line coach Bill Johnson last Saturday for the same position to replace former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron.

The Saints still haven't filled their vacant defensive coordinator position after they fired Gary Gibbs last week. Veteran defensive coordinator Gregg Williams interviewed with the Saints last week, but several other teams are interested in Williams and no deal has been struck.